What is an aggression?

However little respect I have for the United Nations (which should not be too surprising considering its thorough anti-Jewish record - like lumping Zionism and Racism together), it is the source of the international law at the moment, so I have to resort to its documents when talking about aggression. One of its many resolutions says, in particular:

No State or group of States has the right to intervene or interfere in any form or for any reason whatsoever in the internal and external affairs of other States.

Since NATO did not even try to receive the UN approval of its military action in Yugoslavia, its military attack on Yugoslavia is, by definition, an aggression. Unfortunately, the UN resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974, containing the Definition of Aggression [A/RES/3314 (XXIX)] is not available on-line, and for a good reason: it is full of irreconcilable contradictions (Thomas M. Franck, "Legitimacy In The International System", 82 A.J.I.L. 705, Oct. 1988) stemming from 7 years of debate with the communists.

As a test, note that when the Israelis bombed the Iraqi nuclear facilities in 1981, they were promptly declared aggressors by the UN. By the way, this Israeli "aggression" saved the United Nations forces from facing Iraqi troops armed with nuclear weapons in 1991. Nobody thanked them.

As an aside, the "Second Gulf War" of 1991, when the US-led coalition expelled Iraqi troops from Kuwait, was not an aggression, as it was authorized by the UN. The recent (1999) air strikes against Iraq are in the gray area - the Iraqis refuse to comply with UN resolutions on disarmament and monitoring (I wouldn't argue either way).

In the Soviet Union, NATO was never referred to as just "NATO", it was always "the aggressive NATO alliance" (Агрессивный Блок НАТО). Is it not ironic that the first NATO aggression happened only after the demise of the Soviet Union, when its positive role of containing communism was over?

Justifying the aggression.

But aren't the Serbs committing a genocide?

Possibly. So? According to the international law, genocide does not justify an aggression. Please remember that the trumped up charges of discrimination against the Sudeten Germans were the basis of the Hitler's demands for territorial concessions from Czechoslovakia in 1938.

By the way, nothing here is to be misconstrued as support of the Milosevic's communist regime. Nevertheless, however disgusting he and his regime are, they are to be treated according to the international law lest we become criminals ourselves.

Major Problem

The major contradiction which is plaguing the international relationships since the end the first world war is the contradiction between National Sovereignty and National Self-Determination. This is one of the reasons for so many wars in this century, despite seemingly much good will from the UN.

The solution is not to attack a nation which violates our understanding of national, political, religious or ethnic tolerance, but to arm the oppressed minority (like the Nicaraguan Contras) or provide it with a political asylum (like the Soviet Jews).

You cannot fight for the freedom of other people, unless they are fighting too, shoulder to shoulder with you. Otherwise they will not become free - they will just change their masters, while remaining the slaves - yours this time.

An aggression creates more problems than it purports to solve.

Information about the situation on the ground.

I was born and grew up in the Soviet Union, where the mass media were controlled by the government and their mendacity was obvious. The question was - how to find out what is really going on from biased information?

Reading between the lines.

Look not at what they say, but at what they do not say, and remember what they said yesterday.

Simple examples:

War and Information.

It should not be surprising that the mass media of a nation at war become highly biased. There is plenty of evidence of vilifying the enemy, even in the most free and democratic countries.

When a country commits an aggression, this effect is aggravated by the subconscious desire of journalists and citizens to prove that their country is in the right. This is a normal effect: a criminal always tries to defame his victim to justify the crime. See also Steven Pinker's "How the Mind Works", chapter 6.

Therefore we have to discard any information which is coming to us through the NATO channels, unless it is clearly against NATO[1]. Whatever you see on CNN or read in the New York Times must be assumed to be a lie. Too bad.

Use Latin American or East Asian sources. Beware: Russians are likely to be biased in favor of Serbs, just like Moslems are likely to be biased in favor of Albanians.

What Do We Know for Sure?

Make up your mind yourself.

Relevant Sites

Please note that putting a link here does not indicate that I agree or support the position presented there.

A relevant quote:

Forwarded-by: "Nev Dull" <nev@bostic.com>
Forwarded-by: "John P. Kole" <kole@rsn.hp.com>
Forwarded-by: "Bell, Lori" <l-bell@ti.com>

Now let's see here if I understand all this correctly.

President Clinton has ordered our forces to engage an entrenched,
politically motivated enemy, backed by the Russians, on their home
ground, in a foreign civil war, in difficult terrain, with limited
military objectives, bombing restrictions, boundary and operational
restrictions, queasy allies, far across the ocean, with uncertain
goals, without prior consultation with Congress, the potential for
escalation, while limiting the forces at his disposal, and the
majority of Americans opposed to or at least uncertain about the
value of the action being worth American lives.

So just what was it that he was opposed to in Vietnam?

		-- Lt.Gen. Tom Griffin USA (ret.)

A relevant joke:

1st Czech: We are lucky USSR was not a democratic country in 1968!

2nd Czech: Why?!

1st Czech: They would have bombed us into the stone age before invading!

The following joke was popular in the Soviet Union in the aftermath of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and 1968 Warsaw Block invasion of Czechoslovakia:

Q: What is the difference between insolent barbaric aggression and brotherly aid?

A:

  • When a bunch of mighty guys beat up their weak peaceful neighbor, it is called brotherly aid.
  • When one weakling attacks several strong neighbors who swore to kill him, it is called insolent barbaric aggression.

Notes

  1. One semi-trivial exception to this rule are "subversive media" which are always against their country, such as communist media in non-communist countries. In some countries, "opposition media" border on "subversive" in this regard, i.e., they cannot be trusted either.